Prison terms for Pinoys convicted of illegal export of weapons

By Steve Angeles, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

Feb. 28, 2014

LOS ANGELES–Three prison sentences were handed down this week on the three Philippine nationals convicted of illegally exporting weapons to the US.

Sergio Syjuco, Cesar Ubaldo, and Arjyl Revereza each appeared separately throughout the week in a Federal courthouse to receive their sentences.

In March 2013, a jury found them guilty on five counts, which include conspiracy to illegally sell and import weapons into the United States.

Syjuco, 27, described as a gun enthusiast got 84 months in prison, while the 27-year-old Revereza, a Philippines customs official received 51-months.

Ubaldo, a 28-year-old start-up businessman dealing with military equipment was handed down a 60-month sentence.

Each with supervised releases after they serve their sentences.

Their actual time in prison will be shorter since the three men have been in prison since 2011 and have also earned credit for good behavior.

Despite the sentences, lawyers are still fighting to clear their names, requesting for a re-trial on grounds that the jury misunderstood instruction.

Throughout the lengthy trial and investigation, the three unsuccessfully argued to have been victims of entrapment by federal authorities.

They claimed that while authorities failed to apprehend big time gun trafficker Roland Dacia in the Philippines, U.S. undercover agents instead used prostitutes and parties to pressure the young men into finding, selling and shipping weapons to the U.S.

The three claim that aside from Syjuco collecting antique weapons, they never dealt with assault-style weapons.

The FBI’s U.S. taxpayer-funded activity in the Philippines had even caught the attention of U.S. lawmakers, calling for investigations.

Each man testified to a U.S. federal judge during their sentencing.

An emotional Ubaldo apologized to a federal judge for making a bad decision, and embarrassing his family, and the Philippines, saying, he wants to return home.

A motion hearing for the new trial will take place on March 31st.

With none of the men U.S. citizens, they will likely be deported back to the Philippines after completing their prison sentences. Arrangements are being made for them to serve their supervised releases in the Philippines.

You may contact Steve Angeles at steve_angeles@abs-cbn.com for more information.

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  • Delia
    1 March 2014 at 12:17 pm - Reply

    Nothing new here , Crimes Corruption and violence is endemic and goes hand in hand with guess who ? LOL , its start with a P or F . Take a pick .

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